2011 TigsTown Player Capsule: Justin Verlande

What can be said about a pitcher that takes home the Cy Young and is the first pitcher to win the MVP award in nearly 20 years? His performance mostly speaks for itself.

Justin Verlander

Five Numbers That Sum Up The Season

ERA+

SO

K:BB

IP

WAR

170

250

4.39

251.0

8.6


What It All Means

It's hard to say much about Verlander that hasn't already been said, after he took home the Cy Young and became the first pitcher in nearly 20 years to win Most Valuable Player. Verlander led the American League in wins, strikeouts, ERA, ERA+ and a bevy of other categories, which culminated in him posting a WAR of 8.6, one of the best in baseball. Possibly the only concerning stat was his heavy workload, exceeding 250 innings pitched for the first time in his career, leading baseball in innings pitched for the second time in three years, and posting his fifth straight season of 200 innings pitched or more. He tossed nearly 4,000 pitches in the regular season as well, also the highest in baseball.

What Does the Future Hold

Verlander is at the top of his game, and one of the top pitchers in baseball. He will enter 2012 as the Tigers' ace and arguably the best pitcher in the game. Thus far, Verlander has also proven to be incredibly durable, a rarity for someone that has handled the sort of work load he has over the past five years. While there's no reason to believe he's due for an injury, it appears that could be the only thing that would derail him from a Hall of Fame career.

Contract Status

Verlander signed a five-year extension worth $80 million with the Tigers prior to the 2010 season, buying out his final couple arbitration years and first few free agent years. Verlander is slated to make $20 million in 2012 as one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball.

All statistics are provided by Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, with all contract information thanks to Cot's Contracts.